Dating Advice for Straight Men From Gay Guys
Dating is such a universal concept. No matter your sexuality, the end goal is still the same: meet someone who you get to know, kiss, have sex, fall in love and see where that takes you.
So when it comes to mastering the art of dating, advice is easily transferrable between two friends who are interested in the different genders. Meaning, as a gay man, I can still pass some wise words of wisdom along to the macho, bro-esque friends I have that are fumbling when it comes to finding the right girl.
While the gay dating world is fraught with its own problems, straight guys could learn a thing or two by observing how things are done under a rainbow umbrella.
If you’re still questioning my qualifications, below, you’ll find a few helpful tips and tricks I’ve pulled from my homosexual handbook that can help you land the lady of your dreams.
1. Be Direct With Your Approach
The culture of Grindr (an app for gay men when you’re looking to get in, get off and get out) is one of directness. Guys state exactly what they want, whether that’s serious dating, a casual fling or a one-time anonymous hookup, and that online directness is translated into the real world.
We have no problem making things very clear from the get-go. Sure, some people aren’t a fan if you’re extremely direct, but more often than not, we appreciate the honesty to avoid wasting any time. A problem I’ve seen in straight relationships is a lack of clarification of what both partners want and expect. If you’re looking for a more committed, long-term relationship, let her know that. Conversely, it’s totally fine if you’re not looking for anything too serious … as long as you say that.
Know what this requires? Doing that big, dark and scary thing where you think about your feelings. Articulate what’s going on in your heart and head, even if it makes you sweat a little. Yes, the ensuing conversation might be a little uncomfortable, but you owe it to her to be upfront about what you’re expecting (and looking for) in a relationship.
2. Forget Typical Hollywood Clichés
Gay representation in popular culture has expanded exponentially in the last few decades, but there is still an overwhelming amount of non-heterosexual characters in TV and movies. As we are so rarely reflected on-screen, a silver lining to this problem is that queer culture isn’t as bogged down by Hollywood clichés about romance and love.
This makes it easier to accept the fact that in the real world, dating is complicated and messy. A big piece of advice for straight guys: Forget everything you’ve seen in the movies. Remember that iconic scene in “Say Anything” when John Cusack shows up to his love interest’s house unannounced and stands under her window with a giant boom box blaring Peter Gabriel? That’s all fine and good in Hollywood, but replicating that in real life will probably get a restraining order. Life isn’t like the movies. You’re not going to save the day, get the girl and wrap everything up in a nice little bow in record time.
You’ll be better prepared to deal with the curveballs and nasty surprises of dating if you abandon those ancient examples that will do more harm than good.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Communicate During Sex
Gay sex is complicated. As you could probably guess, it can be tricky for two men to negotiate who puts what where and how. This means communication is key, before and during the act itself. The straight population may want to consider a similar approach to sex — instead of just running through a regular stand-by routine, engage your partner in discussion about likes and dislikes, boundaries and so on.
First and foremost, get consent. You should always be checking in to make sure that she’s cool with whatever you’re doing sexually. Also, the sex will be better if you stop thinking with your penis. Sure, it’s the star of the show, but start paying attention to her verbal and physical responses in bed. Despite what you may believe about how experienced you are, there’s always things left to learn, and she will teach you a thing or two about being a great lover if you let her.
4. Take a Hint
Rejection, while unfortunate, is an unavoidable part of the dating world. The aforementioned directness of the gay dating scene means that rejections can be particularly blunt, but there’s no point in getting yourself hung up on those who aren’t interested in you. If you’re going to survive in the gay dating scene, you have to get over it and take rejection in stride.
Straight guys could benefit from adopting a similar mentality. Don’t allow persistence to mold into stalking. When a woman turns you down, she doesn’t mean “try harder.” She means “get the hell away from me.” It’s not fair or considerate to keep bugging her about it, and why expend all that extra energy when there’s other worthwhile women out there who would be willing to give you a shot?
5. Be Cool With Her Exes
Gay dating pools are smaller and therefore more incestuous — most gay dudes of a similar age living in a particular area will know each other, and will have some overlapping romantic and/or sexual histories. In gay culture, it’s common to be around an ex, your partner’s ex or a failed romantic prospect who’d you rather not see … but you just deal with it.
This is an important skill for straight people to develop, too. Whether you run into your own ex or the ex of a partner, be cool about it. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be upset after a bad break-up, or a bit on edge meeting a girlfriend’s ex — those feelings are totally natural — but don’t let them take over completely. You don’t have to put on a big show of how comfortable you feel, but just be mature about it. Act civil and cordial. Those interactions don’t have to be a big deal if you don’t make them into a big deal.